Multipass is a tool to generate cloud-style Ubuntu virtual machines quickly on Linux, macOS, and Windows. Specifically, it’s a lightweight virtual machine (VM) manager, designed for developers who want a fresh Ubuntu environment with a single command. It uses KVM on Linux, Hyper-V on Windows and HyperKit on macOS to run a VM with minimal overhead. Because it supports metadata for cloud-init, you can also simulate a small cloud deployment on your laptop or workstation. In short, Multipass makes running Ubuntu virtual machines fast and easy.

Install Multipass:

Should you ever decide to uninstall Multipass:

Validate your Multipass installation by checking the version:

As long as you see a version returned in your terminal, Multipass has been installed!

Using Multipass

Before getting started, take a look at the online help available with Multipass:

Launch the lts image which, along with jammy, is aliased to the 22.04 image. You can use any of those names to launch the image. Use the multipass launch command:

Once the instance is up, you get a Launched message, along with a random instance name (it’s unanimous-harrier in my case, but it’ll be unique for you).

You can see a list of instances using the multipass list command:

If you want to get detailed information about an instance, use the multipass info command:

Interact with a Multipass instance

Now that you have an instance up and running, it’s time to put it to good use! One way to interact with your instance is to open a shell using the multipass shell command:

Take a look at the contents of /etc/os-release to get some information on your instance. As you can see, you can interact with your instance using a shell, just like any other Linux machine.

You might want to execute a command without opening a shell, though. You can do that with the multipass exec command:

You see the same information as when you executed the command in a shell, without the interactive shells session.


The beauty of having your own little private cloud is that you can easily get rid of resources that you’re finished with. Take a look at your instances:

I still have my unanimous-harrier instance, but assume I’m finished with it. First, stop the instance:

Confirm that it’s stopped:

Now delete the instance:

Verify your work:

If you want to completely remove an instance, use the multipass purge command:

Verify your work:

You see no instances in the output!

Virtual clouds

By using Multipass, you can leverage the power of Ubuntu Linux and cloud-init to manage your own little private cloud, in the comfort of our Ubuntu Linux environment.

If you’d like to dig a little deeper into running instances using Multipass, here are some good resources:


Tom Dean

Just a guy, learning all the Kubernetes things and automating the world!

1 Comment

Konstantin Mladenov · 2023-08-08 at 14:36

Great article! I’ve needed something like this for a very long time but I’ve been too lazy to do research, this checks all the boxes!

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